The crisp cool air hits your face as it gently blows splashes of gold and amber fall leaves off the trees surrounding you. The smell of apple cider dances around you as you revel in the idea of pumpkin everything and tightly fasten your coziest scarf.
If you are like hundreds of thousands of other people, you LOVE Fall! For a lot of couples planning their big day, Fall has become the ideal season to say “I do” for many reasons.
First of all, the weather is finally cool so you don’t have to worry about sweating your entire special day and that is a huge relief in and of itself. Besides logistics though, there are many magical qualities about Fall that make it ideal for a wedding. We’re here to help you get creative with some Fall wedding ideas for your big day so let’s jump right in!
It’s time to get cozy with some of your favorite Autumn treats! Get creative with your drink stations by adding yummy accoutrements like marshmallows, cinnamon swizzle sticks, graham cracker crumbles, and peppermint sticks.
If you’re looking for a fun alternative to the traditional wedding cake opt for a decent collection of autumn-themed treats like cherry, apple and coconut cream pies, cranberry walnut bars, candied apples, and miniature pumpkin pies.
One of the most exciting things about planning a wedding is picking the perfect venue. This is the perfect opportunity to have an outdoor wedding surrounded by fall colors. Even in Las Vegas. The desert is stunning during Fall months so we recommend one of our many locations like Ash Springs at Red Rock Canyon or Floyd Lamb Park.
Faux Mink Wrap
Fall weddings mean serious selection in the wardrobe department. For wedding parties you can go with colors like chocolate, purple varieties, crushed velvet, sparkles, you name it!
The more bold colors your wedding party sports the more you stand out as the star of the show. For gentlemen you can even opt for cowboy boots if you’re into a more Southern wedding theme and rust-colored pocket handkerchiefs for an autumn homage.
While most people in college are busy partying and pretending to go to class in between social events, some people are actually busy meeting the love of their lives. Such is the case with Alexis and Braden who met whilst in greek life at Robert Morris University and never looked back. After six years of bliss Braden popped the question at Hoover Damn while the couple was on a Vegas trip. Alexis guesses this is because he knew she would never think he’d ask her there and he loves a good surprise!
The couple chose Red Rock Canyon for their big day which is one of our most popular locations due to its vast skyline and stunning red rocks that always make for beautiful pictures. Their favorite part of the day was actually taking pictures in this gorgeous setting. “It was very laidback and we laughed and had a great time,” says Alexis.
Alexis found her dream dress in under 20 minutes which might be a record in bridal history! She picked a classic design but gave it an “edgy” flair with accessories like Doc Martins over colorful socks and netted stockings, a leather jacket, and an oh-so-chic vampy lip color. She was blown away by the makeup and hair design by Glammed Up, especially since they didn’t get to do a trial beforehand and nailed it on the first go.
To finish this motif we provided a decadently dark bouquet that matched her lip and nail color as well as the gorgeous custom hairpiece by Boho Halo Company. Braden looked classic in his suit but brought his own flair with some Fireball for his bride-to-be and himself to celebrate with!
This couple is definitely glad they eloped. Though there’s lots of pressure to have friends and family around and have a big ceremony you have to listen to your gut. “It was the best decision for us and we loved just having each other to enjoy the special day. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world,” says the couple. Here’s to living your best life!
Nevada legalized same-sex marriage on Oct. 7, 2014, scoring a huge win for love and equality. Ever since, gay couples have flocked to Las Vegas to become legally wed. In May of this year, Clark County issued its 20,000th same sex wedding license.
The numbers aren’t surprising. Las Vegas is the perfect city to have a wedding because truly anything goes. Couples can opt for big and elaborate, small and simple or even themed ceremonies – think Elvis wedding. Instead of a forgettable wedding that looks and feels like every other ceremony you’ve ever attended, Las Vegas offers an opportunity to do something truly special.
So where does a same-sex couple start when it comes to planning a gay wedding in Las Vegas?
First, get the legalities out of the way – the marriage license process. No big hassle, but make sure you’re checking all the boxes so that there are no surprises on the big day.
Next, start thinking about locations or venues that speak to you. Do you want an indoor wedding or an outdoor wedding? Big or small? Elaborate or simple? Las Vegas wedding planning business Cactus Collective helps couples with all the details, including location. Check out our list of top 10 venues, from the sweet and funky Cactus Joes Blue Diamond Nursery to the exquisite Valley of Fire State Park. There’s really a place for every taste.
Next up, think photos! No one wants to discover after the fact that they don’t have any decent photographs of their big day. So choose a photographer that will bring your dream to life. Start by deciding your budget and then find a photographer who understands your vision. Look for a photographer that has experience with gay weddings in Las Vegas. After all, you want someone who understands you and your love story.
Now, it’s time to think about the reception after the wedding, that is if you choose to have a reception. Remember, it’s your wedding. If you don’t want a reception, don’t have one. If you do, then there are plenty of venues to choose from in Vegas.
Las Vegas has a thriving LGBTQ community, which means we have plenty of reception venues and business that are LGBTQ friendly. From the T-Bones Chophouse to A Simple Affair, there really is a wide range of styles and décor to suit any wedding day dream.
After the Wedding
And finally, we all know the wedding and reception are just one piece of a fabulous wedding experience. What about the down time, before and after the wedding festivities? For family and friends who come to Las Vegas, there are plenty of businesses and events that cater to the gay community in Vegas.
From gay clubs and bars like the Bastille (the oldest gay bar in Vegas) to shows and concerts (Celine Dion or Cher anyone?) there’s something for everyone in Vegas. Not interested in the nightlife, how about a great meal? Las Vegas is home to plenty of gay-friendly restaurants, where family and friends can enjoy a good meal when they aren’t enjoying wedding activities or taking in the sights on the Las Vegas Strip.
Maybe your guests have children, which means they will prefer family-friendly venues rather than a club. There are plenty of those as well. From the theme parks to aquariums, the kids won’t be bored in Las Vegas.
When it’s all said and done, your wedding should be something you will remember and cherish.
So don’t be afraid to make choices that are unique to you and your partner. A gay wedding in Las Vegas can be anything you like. So have fun. And, congrats!
You’re still basking in the glow of the perfect proposal your fiancé just pulled off and now it turns out that the dream venue you both picked out happens to be exactly within the budget you set! You almost pinch yourself over all the good fortune you’re experiencing.
Much to your dismay though, you now face one of the biggest decisions while planning a wedding: picking the wedding date! Do you pick the day you had your first date or perhaps a relative’s anniversary? Maybe you just pick the month you want and let the venue tell you what’s free? There are so many choices that it suddenly becomes overwhelming.
Here at Cactus Collective we like to try and help make planning your wedding as easy as possible so we thought we’d provide you with a handy list of note-worthy dates in 2020 that might prove ideal for your big day if you don’t know where to even begin.
From supermoons to lucky numbers, there are lots of fun dates to choose from to start your lifetime together as well as many to avoid!
Supermoons are said to bring about healing and positive change so what better way to start your new life together than during this phenomenon.
For centuries people have believed that during this moon phase where the full moon is especially close to Earth, it’s a great time to start of a new chapter in your life and you are equipped with extra energy to do so.
Having your wedding during a Supermoon will not only fill you with heightened energy and a connection to positive change, but it will also light the way for your big day as you will literally have the most light possible for your reception with loved ones!
The Supermoon dates for 2020 are:
April 8 th
Though it’s not recommended to have your wedding on an actual Holiday due to various reasons, it is a good idea to have it the day before or after a big Holiday seeing as most people will have extra days off of work the attend. Memorial Day Weekend is a favorite because your friends and family will have Monday off to recuperate. Here are the most advantageous Holidays next year to plan your big soiree around.
Martin Luther King Day – Monday Jan 20th
President’s Day – Monday, Feb 17th
Memorial Day – Monday, May 25th
Labor Day – Monday, Sept 7th
Columbus Day – Monday, Oct 12th
Other Major Holidays:
New Years Day – Wednesday, Jan 1st
Independence Day – Saturday, July 4th
Thanksgiving – Thursday, Nov 26th
Christmas – Friday, Dec 25th
If you are a sports fan then you might want to pan your wedding around the non-official holiday of Super Bowl which is February 2nd next year!
For ladies into fashion your non-official holiday comes with the arrival of National Dress Day on March 6th.
Though many people think Friday the 13th is extremely unlucky, others fancy the macabre idea of tempting fate by having important events on this date. For those of you feeling your dark side, there are two Fridays that fall on the 13th next year: March 13th and November 13th.
If you are into palindromes then February 2nd is your ideal day since it will be 02-02-20-20. It just has a nice look to it as well! The second runner up is 10-10-2020.
August 8, 2020: In the Chinese culture the number 8 symbolizes success and prosperity so seeing that this day is 8-8-2020, a double 8 is extremely lucky for a couple’s first day as husband and wife!
Religious Holidays to Avoid
It’s best to avoid having your ceremony on any religious holiday since they are sacred to people and you don’t want to risk alienating them.
Here’s a list of important religious holidays in 2020:
Palm Sunday – April 5, 2020
Easter Sunday – April 12, 2020
Passover (begins at sunset) – Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Tisha B’Av (begins at sunset) – Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Rosh Hashanah (begins at sunset) – Friday, September 18, 2020 until nightfall on Sunday, September 20, 2020
Yom Kippur (begins at sunset) – Sunday, September 27, 2020 until nightfall on Monday, September 28, 2020
Hanukkah (begins at sunset) – Thursday, December 10, 2020 until nightfall on Friday, December 18, 2020
Kwanzaa – Thursday, December 26, 2019 until Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Ramadan (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar) – Thursday, April 23 until Saturday, May 23, 2020
Eid al-Fitr (dates may vary based on the lunar calendar) – Saturday, May 23 until Sunday, May 24, 2020
Eid al-Adha (dates may vary based on how each family observes; the holiday lasts for about four days) – Thursday, July 30, 2020
Ram Navami – Thursday, April 2, 2020
Krishna Janmashtami – Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Days of Remembrance
It’s best to stay away from days where we honor those who have fallen for our freedom as a sign of respect.
Patriot Day – Friday, September 11, 2020
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – Monday, December 7, 2020
Veteran’s Day – Wednesday, November 11th
There are many historically unlucky dates to say “I do” that stem from different cultures so if you err on the superstitious side then you might want to steer clear of them:
The Ides of March
After the assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15 in 44 BC the Ides of March got a bad rap. Then when Shakespeare wrote it into one of his famous plays with a soothsayer telling Julius Caesar “Beware the Ides of March” that feeling of dread only grew. Since then, couples have notoriously steered clear of March 15th as their wedding day.
Greeks and Romans have always held the belief that starting any new beginning, whether it be marriage or child birth, on leap year is bad luck. Next year just so happens to be a Leap Year so beware of Saturday, February 29, 2020 when booking your event!
Hopefully this helps you get the ball rolling in narrowing down your perfect day. Whatever day you choose will be special so don’t overly stress about it and trust your gut. This is your day after all so use this as a guideline and pick what feels right.
Whatever you choose, make sure you contact us as soon as possible to make sure you lock in the date you want, especially if it falls on one of these popular dates. Couples are planning farther and farther ahead these days (some are even booking for 2021) so don’t get left in the dust. We can’t wait to work with you in creating the day of your dreams!
It’s a glorious Sunday afternoon and you sit sipping mimosas listening to the birds chirping while the breeze blows through your hair. As you sit there with your best gal friends chit chatting about the amazing man you are engaged to the thought occurs to you: “Why can’t I just have a wedding as relaxed as Sunday Brunch?”
Well, my friend, you are in luck because brunch-themed weddings are all the rage now so hop on board that train and start planning your very own brunch wedding!
Before you do there are lots of things to consider though so we’re here to give you some tips for planning a brunch wedding.
The Venue and Decor
One of the best perks to having a brunch wedding is getting a cheaper rate since you are holding your ceremony during the day. Venues charge more for evening weddings as it’s considered primetime and many venues know they can possibly book two weddings in one day if you book them for the morning. This is also your chance to pick a more casual setting for your soiree if you are a more laid back kind of couple.
Small historical venues are usually a great daytime option. Because of the more laid-back approach you can opt for a light dusting of flowers and paper lanterns perhaps as opposed to an elaborate display that looks like someone robbed 10,000 flower stands. Brightly colored glassware juxtaposed with black or gold flatware can make for an amazing color palette to set the ambiance.
For place settings and centerpieces you can have lots of fun! Gift each guest a specialized coffee mug filled with specialty coffee beans, some cute sun glasses to keep them shaded while they brunch, or some fun table activities like crossword puzzles that contain fun facts about the couple.
Succulents and individuals potted plants make for great centerpieces and guests can take them home as a party favor to live on long after the special day. Flowers in mason jars are also a cute option and another great take-home party favor as well as personalizing jars of jam that make for a tasty treat later.
Outdoor daytime celebrations also scream for youthful activities like lawn games, piñatas, and bubble-making stations. Since you will be exiting your reception when the sun is still out, opt for guests creating a balloon aisle for you to run through instead of sparklers (or bring back those crazy-good bubble making skills they all just learned!)
Dress and Entertainment
Looking to get away from your mother’s 100lb wedding dress with shoulder pads and a train the length of a football field? This is your chance! A brunch theme gives you the chance to wear that cute little white dress you had in mind on a hot summer day of wedding planning or that Bohemian-looking number you spotted at Anthropologie and have dreamed about ever since. This is your day so have fun with it and wear what you want!
Your groom will also thank you as he wears a nice blazer and khakis as opposed to a full suit and tie. Even though you are comfortable enough to dance, you can easily skip the whole DJ-dance-party-until-midnight tradition at your boozy brunch reception.
Not all married couples love dancing just like all wedding guests don’t so a daytime reception gives you a perfect excuse to skip all of that completely. Instead maybe get a local folk band or bust out your favorite classic records!
Food and Drinks
We saved this for last because it’s the most exciting part of a brunch wedding! The creative options are never-ending. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is a mimosa bar or perhaps a designer donut display but there are a myriad of other great ideas so we thought we’d just make a list for you!
Afternoon Tea and Scones
Flavor Infused Milk and Cereal Cart
Bite Sides Chicken and Waffles
Make Your Own Trail Mix Station
Glitter Donut Tower
Bacon and Bloody Mary Bar
Fruit and Cheese Platters
Make Your Own Mimosa and Bellini Bar
Rose All Day Motif
Screwdrivers and Mini Pancakes
Cappuccino and Chocolate Station
Cinnamon Roll Wedding Cake
Non-Alcoholic Fizzy Drink Station
Old Fashion Lemonade and Popsicle Stand
As you can see the possibilities are endless so get excited! Keep in mind a few Pros and Cons before jumping in.
You will most likely have to wake up extremely early to get ready for your day. The ceremony will need to start around 10 or 11am so you’ll need to arrange hair, make up, and a few pics before all that. See if the venue will let you set up some of the decor the night before to save you a few hours of sleep that morning.
A lot of guests might have a hard time making it. Many people work weekends these days or have to arrange baby-sitters so a daytime event might make it difficult to work their schedules around.
If you love dancing you might be a little disappointed as a lot of guests are more self conscious when the sun is fully blazing and they aren’t quite tipsy enough to lose their inhibitions fully to let loose on the dance floor.
You might want more time for your ceremony and reception. Afternoon/evening weddings are typically 8 hour packages with a venue but only 4 hours for a daytime ceremony. This might not be enough time for you to do all the activities you want.
Amazing lighting for your event and all your photos
Having brunch at your wedding-duh!
Wrapping your wedding by 4pm with plenty of time for sunset pictures and alone time as a newlywed couple
An excuse to skip dancing if it’s not your thing
Getting to play fun games like Corn Hole and Horseshoes!
Being able to wear what you want and not be judged for it
A nice 4 hour wedding as opposed to a marathon 8 hours
Less time getting ready and more quality time with your loved ones
We hope this helps get some ideas going for you to go out and create an amazing brunch wedding that you and your guests will never forget!
Pride month is one of our favorite times of year here at Cactus Collective Weddings.
We love celebrating love in all its forms and like to take any stigma out of gay weddings in Las Vegas. Many same sex couples flock to Vegas for its diverse and welcoming culture.
Whether you choose to get married on the Las Vegas Strip, a chapel in Las Vegas, or at one of Cactus Collective’s many awe-inspiring desert and downtown Vegas wedding venues, you can be sure that you will not only have an amazing time but will also feel respected and loved.
We are excited about all ceremonies whether they be simple and meaningful or fun themed weddings. The whole point is to make your day special! To celebrate Pride this month we are taking a look back at three of our favorite LGBT couples and their amazing stories.
Wanda + Karol
These two lovebirds met after one of them went through a breakup and after talking for hours at a restaurant they bonded and haven’t been apart since. Truly the definition of opposites attracting, Karol is a nurse and very outgoing and energetic and Wanda is more reserved and laid back and works for her family’s business.
They knew they wanted to plan pretty far in advance for their big day but noticed the luxury of time made it difficult to make decisions. With so many options these days it can be very overwhelming. They contemplated just popping into their local courthouse in Albuquerque on a Friday to get their marriage license instead of having a wedding ceremony.
However they knew in their gut that wasn’t their style so luckily they came to us at Cactus Collective to help them plan everything. With lots of wedding packages to choose from they were able to make their ceremony exactly what they wanted. We come equipped with wedding planners also to help you plan your big day so it’s stress-free and you can focus on the good stuff!
“From the moment we saw your website and pictures, we knew you were the best person to capture our elopement in a special and unique way. We loved the minister you chose and the florals couldn’t have been any better had we designed them ourselves…and then there are the pictures. I cried again when I saw them. They are perfect. You did an amazing job capture the feeling of the day, but more importantly our feelings for each other and the spirit of our relationship.”
Alison + Carlynn
We met these lovely ladies from a referral of our makeup artists and boy did we luck out! We were excited for our first styled shoot in the Valley of Fire and wanted the perfect couple for it. Alison and Carlynn have been together for 6 years and are both performers.
Carlynn is a dancer and real estate agent and Alison is a singer. A true fairytale Vegas story, they met working together on a show at the New York New York Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip back in 2012. Carlynn was born and raised in Las Vegas but Alison hails from Liverpool.
Finding a ying and yang in each other, Carlynn is the calm one and Alison is the crazy one so they balance each other out perfectly. They love to travel with their two furry children, Ivy and Bobby, so they jump at any chance they get to roam the Vegas landscape.
We decided to have them featured for our first time shooting in the Valley of Fire because of their beautiful strength and what they represented. Though these two were part of one of our styled shoots and it wasn’t their actual wedding day, their special day felt as real as ever.
“There is nothing better than seeing the beauty of Vegas beyond the strip so sharing this movement/shoot together in the stunning Valley of Fire was a real treat and memories and pictures we’ll cherish forever.”
Jaime + Jannet
This fiery couple met each other at a mixer in Downtown Vegas. Jaime spotted Jannet across the dance floor and made her way over as she grooved to the slick beats of the DJ. The two danced for a while before even speaking and their chemistry was electric.
Flash forward five years and Jaime and Jannet got engaged over a romantic anniversary dinner at home. Although the couple planned on having a low-key ceremony with only a month to plan, they quickly got carried away in wedding planning fun and turned it into a full-blown wedding spectacle to be remembered.
Luckily they came to Cactus Collective to plan everything else like the photography and minster etc so they were able to focus on all those fun details!
They took DIYing to another level for their at-home nuptials. Using white wooden signs that said things like “only ever grateful” and “so very thankful” Jan’s best friend sprinkled rose petals and glitter on them to make them into floating candle trays that drifted across their pool.
They repotted their outdoor flower beds with white and purple pansies to match the same colored curtains they had draped around their pool cabana. For a finishing touch they lined their driveway and backyard with gold lanterns lit with white candles.
The most special part of their big day was that while they were getting their pictures taken at Red Rock Hotel, their friends and family put all the final touches on the decorations at home so they came back to a wedding wonderland!
Both ladies opted for dresses that they found at David’s Bridal after trying many different styles and options that just didn’t fit their personalities. The couple didn’t get a first look since their ceremony was already..
Las Vegas, June 02, 2019. — Cactus Collective Weddings was announced a winner of the renowned
WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® in Las Vegas.
WeddingWire, Inc., a leading global online wedding marketplace, annually celebrates the top wedding professionals on WeddingWire across more than 20 service categories, from venues and caterers to florists and photographers. These distinguished vendors exhibit superior professionalism, responsiveness, service, and quality when interacting with the five million monthly consumers who turn to WeddingWire to help ease their wedding planning process.
Cactus Collective Weddings received this esteemed award based on their outstanding experience working with real newlyweds. WeddingWire features more than three million reviews, and these notable vendors all received prompt, reliable, and quality feedback.
“We are celebrating our 11th annual Couples’ Choice Awards, where we honor our vendors who help make millions of couples’ big day one to remember,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Not only are these hardworking and distinguished wedding professionals, such as Cactus Collective Weddings, a fundamental part of the wedding planning process for engaged couples, but they help make WeddingWire a trusted source for wedding planning. We congratulate everyone on this well-deserved achievement.”
Cactus Collective Weddings is honored to be one of the top wedding businesses in Las Vegas on WeddingWire.com.
About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, Inc. is a leading global online marketplace connecting consumers with local wedding professionals and a suite of comprehensive tools that make wedding planning easier. Operating within a $250 billion industry, WeddingWire helps 16 million users every month find the right team of wedding professionals to personalize and pull off their special day. Consumers around the world are able to read more than 5 million vendor reviews and search, compare and book from a directory of over 500,000 vendors local to them. Founded in 2007, the WeddingWire portfolio serves couples and wedding professionals across 15 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. The company has more than 950 employees and is headquartered in Washington, DC, with international headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.
How did you two meet/How long have you been together?
Tom and I met on Facebook through a mutual friend and had a little back and forth that ended up with Tom requesting a date for the next day at the Apartment Lounge, Grand Rapids oldest gay bar. It was 5 years ago.
How did you or your partner pop the question?
I bought a resin burger ring from MinikinsMiniatures on Etsy. We are very “burgery” people even though I eat meat and Tom is a vegetarian. I was impressed with the ring since it even had a tiny sauce drip and little bun seeds. I was not really sure how I would ask Tom. We had a vacation at Phoenix area and I brought it along. I decided we would go for a hike and I would ask him. The first hike was FILLED with people and I got too nervous. We are not real public people after all. So then we went on a second hike. And let me tell you, we were not outfitted for a desert hike at all. No water. No good shoes. People were telling us to turn back but I could see some shade from a big rock at Toms Thumb. Then we ran into Rattle snakes… having sex… I made Tom follow me around the snakes and finally could ask him in the shade of a big rock. I did not get down on one knee as we are equals. But I asked and his first responses were: “is this real” and “I’m not ready for babies” he did say yes after I clarified this was real and I am also not ready for babies, just marriage. We kept our engagement to ourselves for awhile and then went ring shopping together to find my ring.
What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding?
I can tell you what was not. Having my parents call me to tell me my French Bulldog got a sick about an hour before hair and make up. Rabies concerns were HIGH. I can laugh about it now. But my favorite thing about my wedding was how incredibly personal our wedding was. Cactus Collective really took everything I talked about and made our ceremony so US. It was perfect. The views were perfect. The weather was perfect.
Did you see each other before the wedding? If not, did you like waiting or would you rather have done it differently?
We did. I had my hair and make up done in the condo that we rented at the Palms. Tom took off for a bit and he also got us Fat Burger for lunch so he was in and out. He didn’t see my dress until I put it on when hair and make up was finished. I love those photos of partners seeing each other for the first time. But we eloped so it was just us. We could not have easily done it differently. And that was okay. I will remember our nervous chatter as we drove to the location forever.
Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?
Oh the dress saga! I went to a typical bridal shop once and I just don’t like white. It washes my pale Welsh skin into nothing. So I knew early on my dress would not be typical. I actually bought a pink satin 1950s style ballgown to wear. However, the cost for alterations were really high and I started to have concerns with traveling with a big dress. I also really wanted a jacket to match so I could wear my grandmothers brooch and matching the satin was also becoming an issue. So while I was looking online at Modcloth and found a plaid dress… it just clicked. That dress was WAY more me. Yes, a plaid wedding dress.
I love to hear about vendors you love! Please list any vendors here and your experience with them!
I loved working with Amelia C and Co for hair and makeup. I mean how easy when they come to you and totally make you look like a bombshell. My hairstylist was chatty and it helped keep me from getting too nervous about the big day. We just had fun hanging out while she worked her magic. I also really loved working with Cactus Collective. The best choice we made for ourselves was working with them to do our wedding. Everything was so simple. I really had no worries at all. If I had questions or needed help for vendors, McKenzi was there to help. Eloping without friends and family can be stressful on the family and friend side, but it was perfect for us. We would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Did you find a store/site that had everything you were looking for?
Modcloth has amazing dresses. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! Etsy was also a huge help in finding items I needed, from Tom’s ring from Stonebrook Jewelry to my veil from Melinda Rose Design. DO NOT SKIMP ON YOUR VEIL. Cheap ones look cheap. I also found my new favorite shoe designer, Miss L Fire. Woman owned and they release info on where the shoes are made and by whom. Mostly from family owned businesses, one even ran by women as well.
DIY-ers….tell me what you made for your wedding! How was your experience putting your personal stamp on your event? Would you do it again?
Eloping meant that I didn’t have to DIY anything. We did have a park celebration back at home after we were married. I made all the decorations by hand, hand painted clay pots with Mother of Thousands succulents in them and white mums. And little pendants to hang from the rafters. Those gave me some Carpal Tunnel issues. I should have enlisted more help on those. I have DIYed some friends huge weddings, and knew I didn’t want that stress since we were planning on moving across country. I kept it simple. It was perfect.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to other couples planning their own wedding?
Do what is right for YOU. Did you know that Diamonds weren’t the regular gemstone for weddings until advertising pushed for it? Not like being given away or other outdated wedding traditions? YOU DO YOU. We broke all the rules. I asked. No diamond center stone for me. No wedding band for me either. Plaid wedding dress. Elopement. And we loved every single second. Even if our parents had issues with how we were doing things. There is a lot of pressure to have the perfect instagrammable wedding. Do not go into debt for a party! Its just not worth it. I have been to weddings that cost 25k, and honestly they didn’t get anything that Tom and I didn’t get and we paid far less for it all. Pay attention to what matters most. You and your partner, not impressing people for the day.
His ring: Stonebrook Jewelry Brooch: 1950s Vintage Brooch from my Grandmother.
Necklace: Vintage 1950s copper and enamel necklace by Matisse.
Earrings: Copper and Enamel earrings by NojaGlassDesign
Ring: Vintage citrine ring. Robin egg shell ring by Melissa Broek
Wedding ring: a natural pink spiced Zircon with diamonds set in rose gold from DeVries Jewelers
Since you were little you’ve heard that Summer weddings are the best. In particular, for centuries June has been the most popular month in which to get hitched and it’s not just because of the warm weather.
The goddess Juno, whom June is named after, was known as a protector of women, especially when it comes to marriage and childbirth so people believed getting married in her month brought good luck and fortune in matrimony.
There are lots of benefits to having your wedding in the warm Summer months from the beautiful weather at sunset to the endless summer-themed decor ideas.
However, with every perk comes something to look out for that might trip up your big day so we’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind when planning your ultimate Summer ceremony.
You are beyond excited to pick your perfect Summer outdoor venue to say “I do” and are already envisioning a fun modern picnic theme or perhaps a nautical soiree. There are so many fabulous ideas to pick from. Perhaps a vintage carnival theme would be fun for guests of all ages.
Maybe you love the lake and are planning a rustic lakeside event with a blazing bonfire ending. These are all great ideas but first, set yourself up to win. We all know that hot days lead to beautiful nights but the key words are “hot day.”
Most couples like to have their reception begin at Sunset and go into the night which means the ceremony itself has to happen during the day. No matter what state you’re saying your vows in temperatures can reach unholy heights so you have to prepare for the worst. Ideally, look for a venue that is outdoors but also covered so at least you have shade to keep you cool.
A lot of venues also have an indoor/outdoor offering where you can have the ceremony inside and then move to their outdoor location for the sunset cocktails and afterparty.
Get creative with party favors as well. Guests will be more than grateful for some cute personalized fans, mini bottles of sunscreen, and even flip-flops have become popular. The heat doesn’t have to be unbearable if you plan right and look out for your loved ones.
Weather is also an important factor. Many states receive the most rainfall during their summer months and a downpour can really ruin an outdoor wedding so if your ceremony is completely outdoors then plan to have an awning or canopy ready in case.
Sometimes it doesn’t even have to rain. In certain places the humidity is so bad you’ll almost feel like you were rained on. Keep fans handy and cool libations flowing to keep guests refreshed.
Bugs are one of the biggest culprits of putting a damper on your big day. Don’t underestimate the power of mosquitos and flies! We recommend working citronella candles into your decor mix as well as lemongrass, rosemary and cinnamon accents. All of these are great insect deterrents. If you can also find some great non-odorous insect repellant to provide on tables or in a cute fashion your guests will be forever grateful.
Look, we all love free food at a wedding but when it’s 100 degree out no one wants heavy food weighing them down. While you are getting creative with your culinary theme try to keep things light and refreshing.
A really popular trend at Summer weddings right now is to have a build-your-own ice cream cart. Friends and family will have a ball creating their own yummy blend and cool down in the process. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are also always a crowd pleaser.
When it comes to drinks maybe provide some flavored water options in cute jars and a few other frozen non-alcoholic drinks to keep everyone refreshed and hydrated. For cocktails keep it light as well with perhaps a mimosa bar or an adult lemonade stand with mint and fruit garnishes.
Yes, people will love whatever you give them but there’s nothing worse than watching a bunch of lethargic people slugging around trying to mingle when all they want to do is nap under a fan.
Also beyond everything else, make sure you keep your wedding cake refrigerated until it’s time to cut it. No one wants a warm melted cake that’s been grazed by flies more times than anyone can count!
The Bridal Party Outfits
Your crew is there to keep you organized, on time, and blissfully happy so why not give them the same respect when choosing their outfits. Now is not the time for those navy blue gowns you’ve been eyeing all year or full black tuxedos.
Aim for light-weight materials that breath and soft colors for your bridal party. If the dresses and suits are dark they will be hot. There’s just no getting around it. Plus Summer is a great time to play with color so get creative and whether it’s soft pastels or vibrant bold splashes of color, this is your time to make your motif unique!
For footwear try to stick to open toes shoes and nice sandals for the ladies and light-weight shoes for the gents. Also make sure the heels are thick so they don’t sink into the thick Summer grass and get stuck.
As for hair and makeup try to stay away from over stylized up-do’s with lots of product. Definitely pin your hair back as much as possible though to keep cool and not have hair blowing in your face as the winds pick up. Setting spray is a must after your makeup is applied so do not skip this step! You will thank us later.
We all have visions of what our perfect wedding table will look like and that gorgeous walk down the aisle gazing around to see decadent flowers and loved ones wishing us well as we walk towards the love of our life. What you don’t see in that equation is wilted flowers and guests burning themselves on the pretty metal seats you provided them.
There are many details that need to be looked at when planning the decor for your wedding. When choosing the flowers keep in mind the types of flowers that can withstand extreme heat and sun. Opt for rose varietals, sunflowers, orchids or succulents to ensure a worry-free day. If you have cut flowers make sure they are exposed at the bottom and not wrapped with ribbon or fabrics.
As mentioned above, be mindful of the seating you provide for your guests. If they have any metal on them make sure to wrap them with fabric and provide seat cushions. You want guests focused on you, not their burning bums!
The decor is where you can really get creative. Maybe provide cute sunglasses as napkin holders or sprigs of seasonal lavender with hand-held fans at each place setting.
Summer nights are a perfect time for a lantern release or some good old fashioned lawn games. If you are feeling really fancy and it’s in your budget nothing says grand finale like a few fireworks (but you can also settle for sparklers).
Whatever it is, check the weather reports a few weeks out, come prepared for plan b and c and make the ceremony your own. Then tip your hat to yourself for pulling off a cool, fun, and unique Summer wedding!
Jamie and Mitch have been into the outdoors from the moment they met. After being set up by mutual friends on a snowboarding trip, they fell for each other quickly. When it came time to get hitched they knew they wanted to go somewhere overseas. Jamie loves Joshua Trees since they don’t have them in New Zealand so they picked Lee Canyon to say “I do.”
The couple loved that there was a ski resort close by and that the day would be stress-free. Both Jamie and Mitch wanted to have an intimate ceremony marrying their best friend without having to worry about what other people thought.
Their advice to other couples getting married flows in the same vein. “It’s so easy to get caught up in the little details trying to impress everyone else. Make a list of what’s important to you and focus on that and remember it’s about you two and no one-else” says Jamie.
Instead of spending big bucks on their wedding ceremony, the happy couple took advantage of one of our great packages and instead used the money to go on an amazing long holiday. The couple says they had the most fun ever and we wish them a lifetime full of more of the same!